If you’re a fan of frustrating games and beyond-meta challenges, then undoubtedly you will have heard of Blackbox. In a nutshell, it’s a puzzle game which uses iPhone features in ways you didn’t even know you could, bending your mind and ruining your life as you play. It is definitely one of the best puzzle games out right now, so let’s get into this review!
The aim in Blackbox is to turn on all the ‘lights’, which are little squares with rounded
edges. To light them up, you must complete the puzzle inside of that light. Simple enough,
right? Wrong. These aren’t crosswords or word searches, these are problems solved by literally using your phone. They range from using your camera, your microphone, even to the buttons on the phone itself, not to mention things hidden outside of the app too!
One criticism we do have is that some of the puzzles are actually too easy! For example, there’s a puzzle in which the solution is holding your phone still for a short while. This doesn’t take a huge amount of brainpower to figure out, just a steady hand, and such simplicity takes away from the satisfaction of the solve.
Blackbox features incredibly simplistic, minimalist, graphics. There are no intricate details, (unless you count the puzzles themselves), and most of the designs are made up of simple vectors, which is quite ironic considering the complexity of the game. This gives it a lovely, clean look, so 10/10 for aesthetics!
The colours chosen for each puzzle work great together on the home screen, especially
set against the dark grey background, and make it much nicer to look at, especially when you’ve completed them all!
Now, the animations. Are they good? Yes! Of course, they’re very simplistic, just like the art style, so they fit in perfectly with the rest of the game’s aesthetic. So, they look great, and perform very smoothly. Unfortunately, however, nothing’s perfect, not even the puzzle game by Satan. One improvement we’d suggest would be to optimise their performance on the iPhone 5, 5s and 5c, as they’re not the best they can be, especially when compared to those on an SE or higher.
So, what kind of music can you expect from one of the best puzzle games the App Store has to offer? Nothing! That’s right, Blackbox is as devoid of music as the developer is of emotion! However, what it does have are some lovely little sound effects, so let’s talk about those.
Blackbox has a multitude of different effects, with most of them like a sort of ‘click’ sound. One of the best things about them is that they are very satisfying to listen to, especially the ones that play when you open and close the hints section of a puzzle!
In this particular aspect of the game, we have only one criticism, which is as kind of scratchy sound that plays just after the click effect when you open a puzzle. Of course, this might be an intentional effect, but either way, we feel as though it could be improved by being taken out.
In conclusion, we love Blackbox. It makes for a fantastic puzzle game, and certainly tests your intelligence, making you use your iPhone in ways you couldn’t imagine you could! So, if you have an Apple device, we would highly recommend you go for this app, and convince your friends to as well! Seriously, get your friends to. You’ll understand later.
If you’re a big fan of platforming games, then you will definitely have heard of the “N” franchise, a game series that revolutionized platform gaming. N++ is the third and final instalment to the award-winning series, and is definitely the hardest. So, is it worth your money? Read on and find out!
You start off, as many platform games do, with a level selection screen. What’s new in N++ is that instead of having one big expanse of levels, you have 3 different sections: Intro, N++, and Legacy. Each of the sections consists of several different chapters, with each one containing 5 different levels. Each episode’s levels range in difficulty, going from easiest to hardest, making each chapter unique.
But what makes N++ different to its predecessors? Well, the biggest difference, apart from the lovely new design, is really is the huge amount of levels that come with it, as it features 2360 levels. Yeah. And that’s without factoring in the online levels, of which there are thousands!
What’s more, Metanet have made sure that not all its levels are the same things over and over again, as they consistently find different ways to have you play, be that introducing a new enemy, or even just with the layout of the level.
As well as that, each level has a name, most of which are funny! For example, one of our personal favourite levels, “Intro to accepting your limitations?”, is a room filled with gold. Not too hard, right? However, as you try and collect all this gold, you realise that the ones placed in the middle of the ceiling require some precisely timed jumps to acquire.
Gameplay. The most important part of every game, and pretty much determines how good it really is. So how good is N++’s gameplay? We think, pretty good.
Of course, there’s only so much you can do to make a platform game’s controls the best they can be, because, let’s be honest, they’re mostly the same every time. N++’s controls are pretty standard: left, right, and jump. No sprinting, no crouching, and no special powers, which is what makes it such a tough game. It all depends upon the skill of the player. And the durability of your controller.
N++ comes with 3 different game-modes: Solo, Co-op, and Race, with each section containing tons of levels to play. So, what do you do in each of these game-modes? Good question! Here’s an even better answer.
“Solo” is the game-mode for most platform games, where, you guessed it, you play by yourself!
“Co-op” is also pretty self-explanatory. You play with up to four of your friends in local multiplayer! Of course, if you have any…
“Race” is the game-mode very similar to co-op, except instead of working with your friends, you’re racing against them!
Of course, there are a few little tricks you can do. For example, more experienced players will be using what’s known as “corner jumping” to enhance their gameplay, and even skip parts of levels with it! If you hadn’t already figured it out, corner jumping is where you jump off the corner of a block. You didn’t really need an explanation. It’s not too hard to do, and only requires a little bit of practice, but it can make beating levels a lot easier, and is incredibly useful whilst speed running.
Another little technique is slope jumping. Yeah, we just made that name up then and there, but it pretty much describes what you’re doing! Sometimes, levels will have a slope in them, which the player will use to launch themselves off and over some kind of death inducing obstacle. By running and jumping up that slope, you’ll gain an incredible amount of speed, and you will fly across the gap!
Our main criticism with the gameplay is the restarting aspect of it. For example, if you’re halfway through an episode, and then quit, reloading it doesn’t place you back into the level you left from. Nope, you’ve got to replay the entire episode again, which becomes incredibly frustrating when you’re playing some of the much harder episodes, such as those in the legacy section.
What’s more, another criticism we have is the progression aspect. Currently, in both versions of N++, you have to beat an episode level by level. This can really slow down your gameplay, especially with the really tough levels, as it can take you ages to complete. Of course, you can always move onto the next chapter and play in that section. Maybe it’s just us, but it’s much more preferable to beat the levels in a linear fashion!
Interesting levels and fluid gameplay is all well and good, but how does it look? In N++’s case, pretty damn great! Metanet chose to use vector shapes and a flat UI to create a clean, sharp environment for their little stick figure to leap around in, and with over 8000 colours and 50 colour combinations, the levels look even more fantastic.
But it’s not just the flat shapes that look awesome: it’s the animations too. The fantastically fluid effects look lovely set against the minimalistic design, and it really shows you how much time and effort the devs put into making this game perfect.
We absolutely love the colours and art of N++, and honestly have no criticisms. They’re brilliant.
Ok, we’ve got some neat graphics, well designed levels, and smooth gameplay, but what about the music? Does N++ lay down some sick beats to run and jump to? The short answer: Yes. Definitely. Absolutely! Featuring just over 40 artists, N++ has a great soundtrack to run, jump, and explode to, and will have your blood pumping as fast as your stick figure is moving!
Of course, there’s always room for improvement, and for N++’s soundtrack, one of the things we’d like to see improved upon is just the overall feel of many of the songs. We have no problems with how they sound, not at all, just that when you’re sprinting through obstacles, you don’t want slow music to go along with it. Although the songs do pick up their pace, it would be great to see some more super-fast music with it, such as some of F-777’s tracks.
Apart from that, we’re fans of the soundtrack, and would love to see a digital/hard copy of it!
Beaten all of Metanet’s pre made levels? Well, pop over to the online levels section, and browse some of those! There are some incredibly tough levels on there, so you’ll definitely be provided with a challenge!
But how did people make those? Why, the level editor of course! The level editor in N++ takes a little while to get used to, especially on console, since so many buttons do different things! However, once you master it, you’ll be creating and sharing awesome levels in no time.
Unfortunately however, the level editor does have a few flaws. For example, the biggest, most annoying flaw, is the fact that you don’t need to verify levels before they’re uploaded. So, essentially, you could upload an impossible level. This can be pretty annoying, as we don’t want the online levels to be filled with a load of unbeatable ones.
In conclusion, we are huge fans of this game, and the franchise as a whole. We love the graphics, the music, and the gameplay in general, and would strongly recommend N++ to anyone looking for a challenging solo platformer, or some friendship testing local multi-player!
Want to check out the game yourself? No problem! Go here to buy it on steam, or go here to buy it on PS4. Oh, and if you’re interested in some more of N++’s art style, just visit their Tumblr, here! It’s filled to the brim with development graphics, early design ideas, and some awesome gifs!
“The Obscure Number Game” is a small, python made game, which, essentially, is a guessing game. But better!
The idea is the computer thinks of a number, and then asks you to guess it! It’s not meant to be a super fun, riveting action game, as all we really wanted was to test our skills in coding, and write a little game. Which we did.
Don’t worry though, it’s not completely stupid! There are 4 different game modes within it, which range in difficulty, so you can have MINUTES of fun until you realise what a real waste of time this really is!
Oh, you’ll also need python to run it. Fortunately, python is free (here), and is a really great program to learn how to code on.
If you’re trying to unlock the Chamber of Time, just looking for some new icons, or trying to unravel Geometry Dash’s secrets, you’ll undoubtedly need to access Scratch’s Shop. But how on earth do you do that? Well, here’s an easy step-by-step guide!
Go into the treasure room (the purple door in the create/find levels screen).
Scroll to the very last page. You’ll see a cyan coloured rope hanging from the ceiling.
Click/tap on that rope. This will cause a load of dialogue to appear, which you need to click through. What Scratch basically says is that you need to get 500 diamonds.
Go gather 500 diamonds.
Friend me on Geometry Dash. Very important step. Very, very important (alphr).
Go back to the rope.
Tap on the rope, and through the dialogue.
If you followed all those steps exactly, you’ll have a new shop! And a new friend (step 5, very important step).
So, you’ve unlocked the Chamber of Time. What to do now? Why not type in these codes!
Darkness – A new icon!
Hunger – A new icon!
Silence – A new icon (with a gradient)!
Volcano – A new wave!
River – A new colour!
What’s that? This article’s really short? Yeah, we know. We could have put it in with our one on unlocking the chamber of time, and we would have, but we realised a very important piece of information.
If you’re an avid Geometry Dash fan, you’ll definitely know about the greatly anticipated 2.1 update that was just released. However, what you might now know is that with that new update came a new vault: The Chamber of Time! But how do you unlock this new feature? Well, read on to find out!
First off, you’re going to need to unlock the Vault of Secrets. To do that, collect 50 diamonds, then go to the create/find levels screen. You’ll see a gold lock in the top right. Click on that, and you’re in!
Now you’re in this new area, type “The challenge” into the text box. This will unlock a secret level, which you’ll see just to the right of you, also in the Vault of Secrets. To play it, you’ll need 200 diamonds, so get collecting!
Once you’ve completed “The Challenge”, you’ll gain access to the basement (the little orange door), in which you’ll find some kind of monster hidden behind some bars. Once the monster has finished talking, click on each of the locks next to him in turn, reading that dialogue that goes along with each.
Once you’ve finished reading, go to the “coming soon” screen, and click in the area below the text. A door will appear!
Clicking on the door will prompt a message to come up, asking if the player is Rubrub.
To enter the door, you’ll need to acquire the “Master Emblem”, which you can get in Scratch’s Shop (accessible for 500 diamonds).
Once you’ve got that, equip it, and go back to the door. Click on it again, and voila! You’re granted access!
Here it is. After almost a year of waiting, 2.1 is out, and with it, a brand new level: Fingerdash! It’s got new blocks, new mechanics, and some cool new features, and is the most detailed main level RobTop has made. But what else does Fingerdash have? That’s right: coins! So, how do you get these brand new gold treasures? Read on, and we’ll show you how!
The first coin is found in the first Spider section of Fingerdash, and to get it, you need to be pretty quick at clicking! Just click/tap when you’re above the coin, and then quickly teleport up again. This coin gives you a little extra practice with the Spider, the new game mode.
Now, the second coin! This one’s in the flying bit directly after the spider, and involves a bit of precision in your flying. You’re required to fly through a gap in some spinning fire bars, which isn’t too hard. Luckily for you, this is probably the easiest of the three coins!
The last coin is the most annoying one to get. It’s found just after the wave section, but to get it, you need to collect little coins in that wave section. Basically, when zig-zagging through that wave bit, there will be 10 little coins to grab. If you collect each of these, you’ll be able to grab the main coin directly after it. This can get pretty annoying, as if you miss even one of those coins, they all disappear, and you have to replay to get the third coin.
Hopefully you found this coin guide helpful!
Check out our other articles on Geometry Dash here!